Diversity Ambassador

The diversity ambassador role includes recruiting, retaining and fostering talented students from historically underrepresented groups in PhD programs in Informatics and Software Engineering. This position is held by PhD students, who are trying to provide information to prospective graduate students. While our campus has been nominated as one of the top colleges doing the most to achieve the American Dream by NYT, our department understands that the work of access and inclusion is an ongoing process. The diversity ambassador works with the Office of Access and Inclusion (OAI) to help get more talented underrepresented students into the fold and also to be an encouraging force in your application. The work of graduate diversity ambassador is about providing you with information about graduate school. This information includes how to begin, what to do, what resources are available, what programs are around to help you begin your career in academic research.

Activities in Informatics

Each fall quarter, we begin Peer Mentorship where a PhD student from our program will be paired with you. The mentors will help talk to you about all things research, what is their process, applications and how they got there. If you are interested, you can fill the form here and also contact the graduate diversity ambassador with an email in the contact info, so that they can get you paired. Aside from that, the diversity ambassador conducts webinars about our PhD programs and also PhD Application Workshops. We typically organize them during the school year and especially when the graduate application deadline approaches. If you are an undergraduate thinking about graduate school as an option, we will also provide resources to undergraduate research opportunities that you can apply to.

University Resources

We have built a rough checklist to help orient you about the prospect of graduate school and the materials that you would need to apply to schools. This list also includes information about Research Experiences for Undergraduates and also opportunities for campus visits through programs like GO-UCI.

Informatics Fireside Chats

This year the Diversity Ambassador’s efforts have had to move online due to the ongoing health crisis. After speaking with our current students, we found that one of the most impactful things that we could do was give opportunities to prospective students to interact with current faculty and ask questions of current students in our department. To help facilitate that, our current Diversity Ambassador has organized the following “Fireside Chats” with faculty members in the coming month. 

  • Dec 8 @ 12 PM (noon) – A Fireside chat about computing and sustainability, with Elina Eriksson, Birgit Penzenstadler, Barath Raghavan, and Bill Tomlinson. Sign up here > 
  • Dec 10 @ 2 PM – A Fireside Chat with Yunan Chen, Amir Rahmani, Jung In Park, and Kai Zheng. Sign up here >

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Diversity Ambassador directly at Rtgarde@uci.edu.

Contact information

The current diversity ambassador is Reginald Gardner. You can reach Reginald at: Rtgardne@uci.eduPlease send us an email if you want to be included in our listserv.